Wednesday, 8 June 2016

THE RUNNING GAME... under new management

I am pleased to announce that THE RUNNING GAME has now been re-published with Creativia and you can once again get copies from most good retailers.
Well, what a tumultuous month May has been. After an incredible April, seeing THE RUNNING GAME top the Amazon charts and become an Amazon best seller, I was foolishly riding high and looking forward to fame, success and buying a house made of gold. Book 2 in the Reacher series, Border Lines had just come back from the editor, book 3 was finally taking shape and then, on one fateful Friday evening, I received word that my publishers was closing.

The shock, despair, general late night hunger pains all needed addressing and I’ve been working tirelessly to ensure that THE RUNNING GAME stayed on shelves… both physical and electrical. Thankfully, through some wonderful author friends I hooked up with a great publishing company called Creativia who have made the transition relatively painless. Aside from losing my once wonderful rankings, I am pleased to say it’s business as usual.

Book 2 continues to be undergoing the all important editorial process and is still on schedule for a 2016 publication. Following on from this too is the exciting news that Book 3 is in draft. That’s right, finally I typed “the end.” Which wasn’t really the end because it’s still lacking a few 1,000 words but there is plot, there is action, and there is a little bit of a character cull too – sorry.

In writing this little letter now, I have just finished one of the final chapters, but the sun is out and my alfresco office is somewhat of a distraction. And you know good whiskey can’t be rushed, so as we’re back on track things can move at a leisurely pace, which is the gear I am fundamentally comfortable with.

As I have something I can share, I thought I’d leave with you a passage from Book 2. And if you saw it within your hearts to share my news about THE RUNNING GAME then I might even be inclined to expose a chapter or two more in future months.

Street lights flickered against the thick dark smog engulfing the city. Mystique was heading home. Her neon heels struck the cracked concrete violently, struggling to cope with her inebriated swagger. Her real name was Clare – Clare Trent – she was thirty–two, pretending she was twenty–three; a lie that was starting to show.

It was a cool July night, but she'd been working hard and the sticky Autumn breeze helped relieve her aching shoulders. She carried her coat over her arm, not caring that her sequined costume underneath left nothing to the imagination. To hell with what anyone thought – that had always been her motto. Sure she was a prostitute, but she wasn't one of those girls standing on the street corners paying off a habit that was never going to go away. Clare worked at Lulu's. She had fans, she was drunk on champagne, and the tiny dress she wore was worth more than most people in S'aven could save in a year.

It was four in the morning, the streets were gently swaying as the nightclubs started to close. Swarms of rich Londoners piled out into the streets, singing and whistling at her. She smiled and slipped past, casually shouting that she'd be at Lulu's tomorrow for anyone who could afford her.

London closed the border for curfew at ten, leaving any pass holder in S'aven to party all night or find some hovel to crawl into until morning. The bars stayed open until the first crack of dawn, but usually by now Londoners were already deep into sampling all the sordid delights S'aven had to offer – and there was a lot to sample.

The groups that lurched around the streets had missed their window. They were either too drunk or too poor to benefit from a room in one of the many brothels lining the border. But it was hot and nobody cared about staying outside when dawn was so close.

Another crowd that passed her jeered excitedly. She contended with their snatching hands and danced away from them. The trick was to do it in good humour. Creating a scene drew attention and the last thing Clare needed was trouble. She quickened her step, ignoring the blisters screaming at her heels. Some of the crowd broke away and followed her. Two called out, offered her the time of her life and she couldn't help but laugh out loud. They persisted for another block and she ignored them. It was always like this and she had survived her thirty–two years using the right blend of ruthless determination and a cast iron nerve.

She walked another two streets before realising she was still being followed.
This wouldn't be the first time some asshole thought he could take his chances with her. But Clare had been around long enough to know how to handle herself. She casually withdrew the flick knife she kept in her coat, along with the mace spray Lulu handed out to all the girls. With a quick juggle  of her coat she was ready. She slowed her steps, enjoying the control she had.

The presence was nearing. She felt something behind her, something big and cold. Felt hands reaching around the back of her neck, closing in, fingertips brushing her skin. This was her moment of power. She turned, choosing the knife over the spray.

It plunged into nothing.

There was no one there.

The empty street rolled out into darkness, but the tightening of her neck continued. The knife dropped to the ground as she tried to push away the crushing force against her throat. She couldn't breathe. Her body lifted. She kicked out, her heels barely scraping the pavement beneath. The hold tightened and she lost control of everything; her breathing, her bladder, her life. The bones in her arms and legs started to bend. She wanted to cry out, but all she could do was croak.

As her eyesight started to blacken she saw a shape – a figure in the distance with an arm outstretched toward her. She tried to reach out, but it was too late.

This wasn't how it was supposed to happen – her last thoughts before the end came.